Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Driving Myself Crazy

I'd like to tell you all a little story. Once upon a time in a galaxy known as New York, my husband and I decided to uproot our family and move to Israel. For the most part, this move was not unlike the zillions of other moves we had done in the past. There were however a few noticeable exceptions. Converting our drivers' license was definitely one of those differences.

This was not the first move we had made that forced us to change our licenses. Our moves from New York to California (and back again) also required us to make the change. 

To fully appreciate this saga, let me take you back to when I was 16 and I first got my driver's license. The standard procedure in New York was to take a written test to acquire a learner's permit, and then a road test to get your license. I was lucky (maybe not that lucky in hindsight) that the DMV was conducting an experiment with a new kind of written exam. There were five questions. All the questions were regarding road signs. I got all the questions right. And I didn't even have to crack open a book! (Imagine that! Of course they ultimately went back to their original way of testing when a class of third graders passed this exam as well!!!)
After having my permit for three months, I passed the road test. 

Let's fast forward to our move to California. I needed to convert my New York license to a California one. The procedure was simple. I just needed to pass the written test and I'd be a California driver. So I went to my local DMV and fortunately for me, it was tiny with almost no foot traffic. I sat down with my exam, took the test, handed it in, and failed. I was so not okay with that. Thankfully because I was the only customer (and maybe because I took the time to make sure my makeup looked good that morning), the clerk allowed me to retake the test that minute.

I passed.

Fast forward another bunch of years and another bunch of moves and we've found ourselves in Israel having to transfer our licenses again. This time, I had to take a road test. My husband passed on his first try. I, unfortunately, was not so lucky. On my first try, the examiner failed all the women that day. On my second try, I consistently drove 10 km an hour too fast.  (My mistake... whoops!)

This is where I got into trouble. After failing the road test two times, I was required to take a written test. (Which is no simple feat). And after living here for one year, I was no longer able to drive using my New York license.

It's two years since I first started taking the written test and for the most part I behaved. I only drove if it was absolutely necessary or if I was staying local for carpools, grocery shopping and doctor visits. But two weeks ago, I got stopped by a cop. He threatened me with a ticket, a court appearance, and taking my car away. Thankfully, being a girl, I was able to turn on the waterworks and I cried my way out of everything. I promised him I wouldn't drive again until I had my license. 

The following day, I went to take the written test again. It was my ninth attempt. I had been studying all weekend. I had completely ignored my children for days. But thankfully, it all paid off and I passed the test. One test down, one more to go.

You've probably been reading this post thinking what in the world this has to do with housekeeping. And even more, what it has to do with the goal I set for myself yesterday. Well, let me explain.

It's two weeks later and I am completely housebound. It's very depressing. I can't take carpool. I can't take kids to their appointments. I can't go to the grocery store. I can't even take big walks with the kids since a cop stopped me for walking (saying he thought it was too dangerous for me to have the kids on the road...) So I've been staying home. I've been staying in pajamas. And I've been staying out of every room that has needed my attention. 

I had decided yesterday that enough was enough and it was time to do something other than stay in my beds with books and movies. I needed to get up in the morning, get dressed and have a regular day - even if I never went outside.

So I did.

Granted, I only managed to get myself dressed at 10 am, but I did get dressed. I did two loads of laundry. I emptied and then reloaded and ran the dishwasher. I washed another pile of dishes. I straightened up the living room. And I made myself a list of everything that needs to happen before Passover comes along.

I've decided that even though I can't yet leave my house, I no longer have to be driving myself crazy knowing I can't leave. If I take a few minutes every day, I'll be able to live in my own home, and enjoy it.

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